Raphael Rembrand is an Israeli engineer with a number of inventions to his name but he’s most invested in (and most proud of) his latest — the BioHug Vest. He designed it for his autistic son whom Rembrand needed to help keep calm, particularly when his son’s stress levels were up. Applying deep pressure is a well-established method for placation, especially in occupational therapy (for ADHD too), however, some find human hugs difficult to bear.
BioHug is a sporty gray vest with a zipper in the front. The device is hidden (sewn into the back) and varies its stimulus so the body doesn’t get too used to it too quickly, which is a problem with similar vests that are based on weights. It operates automatically but can also be controlled manually by wearer or caretaker. It’s powered by rechargeable, four-hour batteries. Funded by the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist’s Technology Incubator program, BioHug was most recently presented at MIT’s Future of Health Care Technologies Summit. It made a lot of new friends there.